• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Are reason and emotion equal in justifying moral decisions?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions Emotion and reason are both important in justifying moral decisions but i think that emotion plays a bigger part because it is connected with one?s conscience. The conscience is the inward feeling that tells you wether you did something wrong or right. This comparison of importance between emotion and reason in justifying moral decisions can be likened to the way the heart and the brain are both important for life, but the heart determines wether one is alive or not. One?s brain can stop functioning and cause one to be unconscious but if the heart is still functioning, the person is alive. Although an unconscious person can be considered as good as dead, there is a fine line that distinguishes the importance between the heart and the brain because there is still hope for an unconscious person to recover in most cases but when one?s heart stops functioning, there is no hope in most cases. ...read more.


he approves.? Moral standards based on reason do not make one happy, for example, in a situation by where one is in a dilemma to choose between a competent leader and a friend who is incompetent for leadership. Emotion will give you reasonable justifications for voting for your friend, like that your friend is more likely to serve you and listen to you, whilst reason will tell you that the competent leader is better for the whole population but voting for him would be irrational. So in this situation, emotion influences reason whilst reason cannot influence emotion because it would be contradicting itself. Therefore from the voter?s point of view, following his emotion would be the right thing to do in this situation but the population would find it wrong because their emotions would also influence their reason. In brief, it is observed that emotion guides each group?s moral decisions more than reason because emotion influences reason. On the other hand, reason might question one?s moral standards based on emotion. ...read more.


For example if a hardworking rich man lives an extravagant lifestyle in a very poor and lazy community without even trying to help them, from a reason?s perspective it is right because he worked hard for what he has while they didn?t ,but it would be considered morally wrong because he is able to help the hunger-stricken community but he does not. On the other hand, if the rich man is fully emotional and works hard for the whole community for the rest of his life whilst they are idle, it would be unfair because the community is able to work but it decides to exploit the rich man. So this shows that emotion and reason are interdependent in terms of making moral decisions, too much of emotion or reason can be immoral. So although one might argue that emotion and reason are equally necessary for making moral decisions because they are interdependent, i still believe that emotion has more importance because it subdues reason in most cases of making moral decisions, just the way a car and a human being are interdependent for faster travelling so are emotion and reason interdependent but the human being and the emotion are more important. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Free essay

    Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    rather than a source of it.5 Therefore it is hard for a person that has strong feelings of emotion to think reasonably. Let's take the example of a man that is angry that his wife had an affair, he may act irrationally and choose to threaten her with a knife.

  2. Reason And Emotion

    At the same time, each person's beliefs and experiences create a bias that taints the events being retold, and thus influences what the listener knows. History is essentially facts that are interpreted by a variety of perspectives which are dependent on the historian's emotions towards the event.

  1. TOK summer assignment - Art Questions. Experiencing art, artists reputations and "what is ...

    by the general public; however they still get viewed and commented on. Being a recognized artist, however, can certainly boost his or her mentality on created newer pieces of art. Recognized artists will be influenced by the public and will want to strive to create better and more pieces of art to continue their level of fame.

  2. are reason and emotion equally necessary in the justifying a moral decision

    The answer is emotion. It is her emotion of protecting her child and her family that makes her act this way. Taking this case, we see that the woman reports the man to the police even though she was daunted by the repercussions of her actions.

  1. Free essay

    Are moral values invented or discovered? What importance does this question have for moral ...

    As Mackie puts it, when saying an act is wrong because it is cruel, "what in the world is signified by this 'because'?" As already mentioned, a realist view of ethics is quite an automatic one, and so to convincingly reject the doctrine we must offer a plausible alternative.

  2. Discuss the view that we cannot justify absolutist moral rules in a multi cultural ...

    It does not matter under which circumstances. Therefore in such crucial cases, I do believe that some absolute moral rules should be justified even in a multi cultural society. A quite ironic point is that even though moral relativism suggests avoiding absolute rules, this avoiding of absolute rules is an absolute rule itself.

  1. Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    Therefore you might be compelled to help him out, and propelled by your emotions, you try and get caught and into trouble. You can try justifying it from the emotional angle and maybe hope for some sympathy, or you

  2. Can Emotion be rational?

    This example proves that emotions can effect our reason and it is more frequent that emotion is irrational than rational.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work